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Dan Woodger

Illustrator / London U.k.
插畫家 / 倫敦,英國


If you ever wondered how would it feel to make a living drawing illustrations for McDonald’s , The New York Times, Google or Pepsi, you are in the right place. This season we meet Dan Woodger, a freelance illustrator and designer from London U.k. killing the scene with his colorful, eye catching characters.

Looking at his portfolio you will quickly realize that Dan has a memorable career with a bright future in the industry and projects coming from every corner, but this wasn´t always like that, just four years ago Dan was in a completely different situation with difficulties to find clients and struggling to continue his career as illustrator. Giving up was not an option for him and after working really hard for a year to produce more content, the miracle happened and Line, the famous messaging app, contacted him to create one thousand emojis. Since then Dan hasn´t stop working and we meet him in Taipei to know more about his work.


如果你想知道為麥當勞、紐約時報、Google或百事可樂繪畫生動的插圖是什麼感覺?看這篇文章就對了!

看過Dan的個人資料,你會發現他事業成功,在插畫這個行業有著光明的未來以及四處而來的工作邀約,但一路以來並不是一直都這麼順遂。

四年前Dan處於一個艱難的時期,很難找到客戶並且很掙扎是否要繼續以插畫師維生,但放棄不是唯一的選擇,經過一年努力認真的創作,奇蹟似的出現大好機會!眾所皆知的通訊軟體"Line"與Dan聯繫,請他做一千個表情符號,自此後Dan馬不停蹄的工作,這次我們就在台北見到了本人,藉由採訪了解更多他的工作和故事。


R. Hello Dan! How are you, first time in Taipei?

D. Yes! This is my first time in Taipei! I fallen in love with it here it’s such a fun city, I’ve had the best time. We’ve packed in so much since we’ve been here, we visited Elephant Mountain Xiangshan,
Xia-Hai Chenghuang Temple, and the Raohe Night Market. I’ve also tried some very weird food! Some of which has been absolutely delicious, I really enjoyed Hujiao bing and I love bubble tea. However, I have to say, I think Stinky Tofu is a bit of an acquired taste that I’m not quite ready for yet!

R. 哈囉,Dan! 這是第一次來台北嗎?

D. 是的!我非常喜歡這裡也很享受,覺得這個城市非常有趣,我去了象山、霞海城隍廟和饒河夜市,也嘗試了一些…..很奇怪的食物(笑)!有些東西真的很好吃,我喜歡胡椒餅還有珍珠奶茶,但我必須得說我還沒有準備好要嘗試臭豆腐。




R. How many hours do you usually work in an average week?

D. I try to have a structured routine whereby I have set working hours. Normally I like to get to my studio around 7 am and usually finish between 6 pm-7 pm so on average I would say around 11/12 hours a day, I guess that works at around 55-60 hours a week. I try to make sure I set some time aside in the evening and at weekends to do other things outside of illustration and spend time with my girlfriend, friends and family.

However, when freelancing you’re kind of at the beck and call of the client, so it depends on the project I’m working on really. At times I have to work more challenging hours. For instance on the LINE and Samsung projects I was working around 17 hours a day, 7 days a week! It’s part of the job really.

R. 平均一個星期你工作時數多少呢?

D. 我試著讓我的日常工作是有規劃並且規律的,藉此設定工作時間,一般來說我早上七點去我的工作室,通常晚間六點到七點之間結束工作,所以平均一天工作大約11或12個小時,一星期的話大概有55~60個小時,我會保留一些空閒時間像是晚上或週末來陪陪女朋友、朋友們和家人。

不過,由於是自由工作者,客戶隨時會打給你,要看情況,看當時接的案子工作內容是什麼,有時候工作時數更具有挑戰,例如我之前接下Line和三星的案子,一天工作17小時,一星期都沒有休息,這就是工作的一部份。




R. Do you prefer to sketch in paper or directly into the computer?

D. I prefer to sketch on paper when possible, then I’ll scan my sketches into the computer to work it up. It’s kind of embarrassing to admit but I always start projects by sketching out my ideas on sheets of basic printer paper. I have done this since I was a kid, I just enjoy working onto loose sheets rather then into a bound sketch book, it just feels more natural and less restrictive to me.


R. 你習慣在紙上構圖還是直接用電腦?

D. 如果可以我會先在紙上構圖,然後再掃描到我的電腦裡繼續後續工作,有點不好意思讓大家知到,我開始一份專案的時候都是在一般影印紙上構思我的想法,自我小的時候一直以來都是這麼做,就是喜歡用一張張的紙而不是一本本的素描本,感覺比較自然、沒有太多限制。





R. How is it to work with big corporations? Is there a lot of restrictions to your work?

D. Working with big corporations is fun & it’s exciting, there a few better ways in which to showcase your work in my opinion. Companies like McDonald’s and Samsung are household names. To be able share the space and limelight they occupy can only be a good thing right? What better way to get your work seen by people? 

Of course there can be restrictions, it depends on each client. I believe the most successful collaborations come when the client and the advertising agency put trust in you. McDonald’s and Samsung are both perfect recent examples of this. They allowed me to be creative, use my own ideas and even my own colours. In doing so I feel like we created something very special.


R. 和大公司合作的感覺如何? 工作上對你來說會有很多約束嗎?

D. 和大公司合作是很有趣而且很興奮的,在我看來這是展現作品很好的機會,像麥當勞跟三星這樣家喻戶曉的公司,跟他們合作能讓更多人看到你的作品是件好事吧?

當然也會有一些約束囉!不過要看客戶。我相信最成功的合作是當你得到客戶和廣告公司的信任,麥當勞和三星都是我近期很好的例子,他們讓我發揮很多自己的創意、想法以及使用的顏色,讓我覺得我們創造的東西真得非常特別!




R. What are your inspirations?

D. My inspirations come from the things I loved growing up. Cartoons like The Simpsons, Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles etc.

Also, movies & video games from the late 80’s and early 90’s Jurassic Park, Jumanji, Terminator, The Neverending Story, Sonic The Hedgehog, Super Mario. Weirdly, I also found huge inspiration growing up playing GTA Vice City - I should clarify, this was not because of all the car theft and violence! I adored the storyline and era it was set in. This game came out around 2003, I was only about 13/14 years old so I had no idea that GTA Vice City was a Miami Vice / Scarface parody, but it opened my eyes to so much pop culture & aesthetics from 1980’s Miami / California that I have since fallen in love with. Palm trees, sunsets, pastel colours, big sunglasses. You’ll see tonnes of this sort of thing in my work.

R. 你的靈感是什麼?

D. 我的靈感來自於我成長期所喜歡的東西,像是卡通類辛普森、小淘氣、大頭仔天空、忍者龜等等,還有80年代末到90年代初的電影如侏羅紀公園、野蠻遊戲、魔鬼終結者、大魔域或遊戲音速小子、超級瑪利歐。
奇怪的是我在玩俠盜獵車手:罪惡城市這個遊戲時,也得到很多的靈感,我必須澄清一下不是因為偷車跟暴力的關係!我很喜歡故事情節和背景時代,這個遊戲在2003年推出,那時我13、14歲完全不知道這個遊戲是模仿同樣故事背景也是邁阿密的電影疤面煞星,但也讓我大開眼界、了解1980年代邁阿密和加州的流行文化,我非常喜歡其中椰子樹、夕陽、柔和的顏色和大墨鏡等等,你會在我的作品中看到很多類似這種的元素。



R. One thing you hate to draw?

D. Horses. Hate hate hate drawing horses. I don't understand they’re bodies. Whenever I draw them from memory they end up looking like big muscly dogs.

R. 有什麼東西是你不喜歡畫的嗎?

D. 馬,我非常非常非常討厭畫馬!我不了解牠的身體構造,任憑印象去畫,不管怎麼樣到頭來都很像一隻肌肉很大的狗。


 


R. What would you recommend to somebody trying to be a professional illustrator?

D. Work hard, be yourself, be reliable, be nice.

Work hard - I always say in talks and speaking events that I think I’m about 20% talented and 80% hard working. I know far far more talented illustrators than me but what I lack in natural talent I make up for in work ethic. That’s why I get up so early, It’s so I can go in and work on personal projects for a couple of hours before starting on client projects.

Be yourself  - There are so many artist and illustrators in the world, scrolling through Instagram and seeing all the utterly brilliant work of other people, it can feel overwhelming at times,. Best thing you can do is put the phone down, close your internet browser and pick up your pencil. Shut out other peoples work for a little while and focus on your own ideas and work hard at it.

Be reliable - So important. Again, there are much better illustrators than me, but what I have tried to prove to clients over the years is that I am reliable. So I make sure I always meet deadlines. This reliability and trust can often lead to the client / art director coming back to work with me again.

Be nice - Just be nice to people, it goes a long way. Try and make an effort to reply to all emails and social media comments if you can - I know it’s not always possible, and I’m certainly not perfect, but just try to make the effort with people, it’s nice to be nice.


R. 對於夢想成為專業插畫師的朋友們,你有什麼建議給他們嗎?


D. 努力去做、做自己、成為可信賴的人並且為人友善。

“努力去做”-我在任何演講活動中總是會提到,俗語說三分靠天份、七分靠努力。我知道很多遠比我還要有天份的插畫師,但我在工作中彌補我所缺乏的,這可能是我為什麼離成功比較近的原因吧!像我開始做客戶的案子前,也會提前花一些時間先做自己個人的案子,無論如何都是磨練,總會從中學到經驗。

“做自己”-世界上有很多藝術家和插畫師,在instagram上就可以常常看到很多很棒的作品,這會帶來挺大的壓力,你能做的就是放下手機、關掉網頁然後拿起你的筆,不要去想別人的作品怎麼樣,認真專注的做你自己的作品。


“成為可信賴的人”-這非常重要,需要再說一次有很多比我還要厲害的插畫師,但多年來我試著向客戶證明我是一個值得信賴的人,所以我會確保自己一定可以在期限內完成工作,這樣的信賴感可以讓我的客戶或是藝術總監常常再來找我工作。

“為人友善”-就是待人友善一點,這會使你走的長久,試著盡可能回覆所有的email和社交網站上的留言,我知道這不容易,我自己也無法做到非常完美但我會盡力,對人好一點終究是是好的!




If you want to know more about Dan Woodger check his website!

想了解更多,請到Dan Woodger的網站看看吧!



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All the pictures and words in this article belongs to River and Dan Woodger and have copyright.
If you would like to use it please contact us first, We like to share.

本文中的所有圖片和文字版權由River和Dan Woodger所有。
我們樂於分享,但若您想截取使用,請先聯繫我們。



January  8  2017

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